I have managed to stay healthy for 9 weeks, while everyone around me has been sick at least once. I was proud of this statistic up until today. Tonight my throat failed me, my energy level was low.
Since Bikram's type of breathing takes place through the throat, using the nose and mouth as only passageways, I was not able to fully engage in this evening's meditative breathing. I was there in body, but my mind and spirit have already returned home to New York.
What I can tell you is this...our lungs are always hungry. Like an insatiable, wild animal, the lungs crave purified air. Bikram created a breathing system that fuels this fire. We take 6 seconds to inhale and 6 seconds to exhale in the warm-up of his series. Do you ever notice that a solid 10 minutes of thorough breathing at the beginning of class translates to an amazing practice? I can always tell how good my poses will be by how strong my breathing is. That's because it's all related..
Breathing is not just something we do to survive, it's something we do to calm down, to meditate and to produce energy in our bodies. Life force is another term used to describe the breath. It is everything and nothing all at the same time. Air leaves almost as fast as it comes into our bodies. How we choose to harness it is up to the individual.
The end of week 9 marks more and more down time and less and less dialogue study, which I hope to resume asap (i.e. on the plane ride home Sunday). I have a heavy heart and an anxious mind as I begin to pack up my hotel room which I practically turned into a studio apartment. Thank God Mom is bringing an extra suitcase and I have my trunk to pack the rest in.
I am so grateful to be seeing my mother tomorrow. She's flying cross-country to watch me graduate on Saturday, which will be a most-memorable moment for both of us. Hopefully my body will continue to fight whatever has crawled in me and taken up residence. In the mean time, I will have to breathe my way through, (which ever nostril is still functioning), for the next 48-hours.